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Virulent Hog Disease Shows Up In USDA Quarterly Report

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Spencer, IA: (Jan. 06, 2014) – Analysts continue to pore over the December 27th Quarterly Hogs & Pigs report for clues to the effect the PED virus is having on the nation’s hog herd.

Analysts point to the figure of 10.04 pigs per litter (ppl) for November in the USDA report. It was down from 10.16 ppl in November of 2012. While that doesn’t seem a big deal, it marks the first time since 2003 that the ppl number was below the year-ago level.

Veterinary experts say the PED virus is especially lethal to new born piglets, and cases increase during the winter cold, factors thought to be behind the reduced ppl in November.

Hog futures contracts for next summer are hovering near the $100/cwt level, reflecting the notion that the hog supply will tighten in the months ahead.

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